Book Review: The Girl on the Page

4.5 stars

 

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Greatly enjoyed this book. Hard to put down. Well written. A story about the ‘fight’ between commercial fiction and literature. It made me smile because I like to write too and have spent time listening to other writers’ ideas of what is good writing. All I could think by the end of this book was how writers take their pursuit way too seriously (fiction writers, not journalists). You’re writing a book, not curing cancer. Get off your high-horse.

As to this book, it could have easily been a five star read. In fact, I wanted it to be a five star read. There’s some great stuff in here, but it’s let down by the incongruous erotica. I love erotica. I write erotica. But it just didn’t belong here. And it was poorly written and aggressive, bordering on abusive. It made me feel a little dirty to be a woman. A real woman doesn’t enjoy sex like that. Even if she is a ‘sex addict’. Our bodies don’t work like that. It’s written from very much a male perspective, which is a little disconcerting in of itself.

Nevertheless, despite its faults (and all books have their faults), it was a really fun read. There’s a lot of depth. A lot to think about. It compels me to read more of the author’s work.

Book Review: Caught

Literary

4 Stars

 

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Enjoyed this book. Phenomenal writing. Much in the vein of ‘No Country for Old Men’. Real hard, ‘masculine’ writing. Don’t know why I think that. It’s almost as though it’s written without emotion and yet that’s not true—it’s filled with it. Filled with minute detail. Skilfully written introspection. Symbolism. An interesting style of writing that I’m coming to enjoy.

An unusual book. It’s more literature than any other genre, I think.

I liked Slaney. A drug smuggler on the run. An inherently ‘decent’ character despite his crimes. Complicated and three-dimensional. I felt for him.

The story, I guess, is ‘slow’. For those who want a fast-paced, suspenseful read, you won’t find it here. I like that. But I also would have liked a bit more thrill.

I ummed and ahhhed deciding whether to make this a 3 or 4 stars. Not a huge fan of ‘literature’. Wouldn’t call it a page-turner. But I think the writing on its own is worth the 4 stars.

Book Review: Unsub (Unsub #1)

Action, Crime

5 Stars

 

UNSUB by Meg Gardiner

 

Fantastic read. Awesome writing. Had me hooked the whole way. Loved the twists and turns. Believable. Great characters. None of it felt forced or silly. I really can’t fault it. Hard to find in a genre like this. If you like psychological thrillers and serial killers, this is a great book to read.

I’ve already read the second book, so moving onto the third. Very impressed with this author. She deserves more recognition.

 

Book Review: Baptism of Fire (The Witcher #3)

Fantasy

3.75 Stars

 

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Top notch writing. Great characters. Geralt is sexier than ever. I actually enjoyed this book much more than the others. The earlier books focused too much on minor characters and politics. Though there is still some of that in Baptism of Fire, it’s much more bearable. I got to read more about Geralt, which I loved and greatly enjoyed.

However, the ending fell flat and I really didn’t understand the purpose of this book. Another reviewer made a comment that it lacked direction. I agree. Nothing actually happened to move the plot forward. I reckon one could probably complete the series without reading this book and not miss a beat.

The series is good but it’s losing momentum. Hopefully more will happen in book 4.

Book Review: The Martian

Needs no Introduction/Science Fiction

6 Stars

 

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Yes, I know you think me an idiot for rating it 6 stars. But when I come across a book that knocks me off my feet like this one did, 5 stars just doesn’t cut it. And this is only one of three that have made the grade during my lifetime (and that includes the Harry Potter series).

*

I only need two words to describe this book: FUCKING AMAZING.

The story was brilliant. The characters were brilliant. The science was brilliant. The suspense, the cold shivers, the tears in my eyes … oh, yes! And the humour, oh my God, the humour! I haven’t laughed so much because of a book in years. And I’ll admit it, I’m a little in love with Watney. Okay … I lie … maybe I love him a lot. You can laugh. It’s totally true.

One of the best books I’ve ever read post my YA years when any crap was good. And certainly the best in Science Fiction. Blew The Andromeda Strain (my previously most loved sci-fi book) right out into space.

An interesting fact: this was originally self-published and self-edited and the author researched all the very detailed and complicated science on his own.

Extraordinary.

Will I read it again?

Fuck yeah!

Book Review: The Return Man

Horror/Action

4 Stars

 

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A good read. Great characters. Very good writing. Lots and lots of action. A bit too much for my taste but it was GOOD action. Very descriptive with the gore—and again, it was well done.

A fun zombie book with a surprising amount of depth. Loved how the mysterious backstory came together so suddenly at the graveyard. Awwww, was the grunt I made.

The main man had heart. Really enjoyed how big a role his family played, though they weren’t there.

Definitely a four star read and the best zombie apocalypse I’ve read thus far.

Book Review: The Piper

Never done this before but I thought I might start now: reviewing books. I read a lot, and what I’ve found is that there are so many books out there that don’t receive the attention they deserve. So I’m going to play my own very small part in advertising these great authors’ names. So here is my very first little review.

Horror/Thriller

5 Stars

 

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I’ve been having a good run with books lately, and this is the cherry on my ice-cream sundae. Picked up this book by chance in the library. Thrilling, mysterious, page-turning and I did get a couple of chills, particularly at the beginning—very rare for me in a horror. The writing was perfection. The story was set up well. Loved the little sub-plots.

I have a lot of trouble with horror. I love movies but books have generally been subpar. Stephen King does nothing for me—boring as bat***t (That being said, I do love his dramas/thrillers). Never understood why Dean Koontz is so popular (really quite poor). Then I realised after reading this book, why—their work reads almost silly. The Piper has depth their stories lack. Emotion. And that inspires the thrills and chills. When I start fantasising about inserting myself into the story, it means I’m enjoying it at a deeper level (and this is a horror!).

I can’t believe this has so few ratings considering how much overrated crap there is out there, stuff that attracts far more interest than it deserves. What is wrong with people, Goddamnit?! This is why the good stuff is getting harder and harder to find—bad taste!

I think this is the first time I’ve read a female horror writer. If this is the standard, we need many many more writing the genre.

 

According to Goodreads, Lynn Hightower has a stack of awards to her name. I’m not surprised. And yet so few know about her. It’s just not fair. I shall be delving into the rest of her great work.